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Teaching Percentages

Date: 7/8/96 at 8:35:17
From: Anonymous
Subject: Teaching Percentages

What is an easy way to explain percentages to a 5th grader?

Date: 7/10/96 at 23:47:45
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: Teaching Percentages

Hi there!  Well, if the student has some experience with fractions, 
you can explain that the percentage sign is shorthand for a fraction 
with a denominator of 100.  You will also want to draw on the 
student's familiarity with percentages in other guises -- like 
"percentage off" sales in stores and  batting average analogies.  You 
can also try the idea of a "pie" divided into 100 pieces.  

Fifth graders can also be introduced to statistics in the news.  If 
you read "Mathematics Teacher," you'll often find that the "math in 
real life" spread includes statistical data that can be useful in the 
classroom.  If you're looking for a class project for the fall, you 
might try using current events like the Olympics (see the recent 
Sports Illustrated for lots of silly statistics on U.S. Olympians) and 
the Presidential election race. If you are working with a small group 
or tutoring one student, you will have an even greater opportunity to 
interest your students by taking their interests into consideration.
I hope this helps.  Let us know how your teaching goes and if you have 
any other suggestions to pass on to other teachers and parents.

-Doctor Jodi,  The Math Forum
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Associated Topics:
Elementary Fractions

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